DT 27636 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27636 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27636 (Hints)

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There’s a new Monthly Prize Puzzle today.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct a “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a Shell makes vehicle fast! (8)
A charade of a three-letter motor vehicle and an adverb meaning swiftly

5a Crumbs collected by school char (6)
An interjection meaning “crumbs!” inside the abbreviation for SCH(ool).

10a Not getting one another ready to vote? (2,5,8)
This could mean ready to place a mark in a voting paper

12a Direct link with the equator? (3,4)
This direct link between the leaders of superpowers could describe the equator in terms of its temperature

18a Wife and a drink gives one such courage (5)
This colloquial word for a wife also describes the type of courage achieved by consuming alcohol

25a Disheartened, never to return and attempt coming in again (2-5)
Drop the middle letter (disheartened) from NE[v]ER, reverse (return) what’s left and then add a verb meaning to attempt

26a Phoney bids for a deed against that woman and similar people (5,2,1,7)
An anagram (phoney) of BIDS FOR A followed by a deed and the pronoun meaning that woman

28a What some footballers did — nurtured backs and made final (8)
A three-letter verb meaning nurtured or nourished is reversed (backs) and followed by a verb meaning made final


1d Convert  a little currency (6)
Two definitions – a verb meaning to convert and a small amount of money (currency)

3d Go on with most of the takings (7)
Simply drop the final S (most) from a word meaning the takings or receipts

4d Retiring copper’s first to get comfortable (5)
An adjective meaning retiring or bashful preceded by (is first) the cryptic definition of copper

8d Flew from the Andes? (8)
This verb meaning flew or rushed is an anagram (from) of THE ANDES

14d Banker in Cambridge has set off short distance for something in car (8)
The rather obvious river (banker) that flows through Cambridge followed by an anagram (off) of HAS and the abbreviated form (short) of an Imperial unit of measure (distance)

17d Woman in Italian island being held up, appealing (8)
… the Italian island is the one to which Napoleon was exiled

19d Obstinate in gruelling part of court battle? (4-3)
An adjective meaning gruelling or difficult followed by part of a game played on a court

24d Grilled like soldiers? Yet arresting sailors (5)
The soldiers here are strips of toast that are dipped into a soft-boiled egg – put a conjunction meaning yet around the usual abbreviation for sailors – I wouldn’t thank you if my soldiers were overgrilled!

25d Annoy fellow inside with firearm (5)
A verb meaning to annoy around F(ellow)

The Crossword Club is now open.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

Please read these instructions carefully. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted.

The Quick crossword pun: valley+parkin=valet parking

79 comments on “DT 27636 (Hints)

  1. I found this one very tricky – I struggled with many of the clues and although I managed to complete the puzzle it was without understanding quite a few of them.

    3*/3* for me.

  2. A nice, gentle start to Saturday, though I had not heard of that meaning of “wife” before at 18. Apparently prevalent in the colonies before air conditioning – at least in its politer meaning. I look forward to the NTSSP.

    1. Welcome to the blog Gordon

      There is also a famous song by, among others, Peter Sellers. Try entering your answer and Mr sellers into a search engine.

      1. ‘?? ??? ?????’ was a very famous music hall song associated with Albert Chevalier as well as Rhyming Slang for ‘mate’ or ‘wife’ .

  3. I enjoyed this one and found it quite easy, probably because there were so many anagrams. No particular favourites. Thanks BD and the setter.

    1. Yes, I agree, Ally, and you’ve said everything that I was going to say – and very succinctly. Thank you!

      1. Many thanks Cara. you have now summarized my few remaining comments except that I did not understand 18d. Otherwise a very enjoyable Saturday fare and all done in good time for the Rugby. Thanks to BD for the hints, some of which were very timely

  4. Thank you setter, an enjoyable and not too difficult Saturday puzzle. Thanks BD for the hints. I hope you enjoy a quiet relaxing weekend after your recent jollies http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  5. Thanks to setter and indeed BD for being there pronto although, as per most Saturdays, your hints weren’t needed today but I did enjoy reading them nevertheless. Puzzle not really my scene – long clues, over-anagrammed and not much humour. 18a IMHO, much though I love(d) Peter Sellers, his cockney accent not entirely convincing as Albert Chevalier’s mimic. **/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  6. favourite clue is of course 18a.

    but I also liked 13a (modified energy splitter) and 23a (revitalised britisher). Somewhat trickier puzzle today. last one in was 4d (retiring copper). I had the wrong answer for 21d (get ready) at first despite having all the checking letters.

  7. 1*/3*. I found much of this read & write but nevertheless it was good fun. While completing this I felt there were a lot of anagrams (as also mentioned by previous commentators) but then I counted them and I think there are six, which I don’t think is particularly excessive.

    Many thanks to Mr. Ron and to BD.

    1. I think I will adopt a new standard blog post – “I agree with Rabbit Dave”. It will save a lot of time and effort in future!
      At the lemon squeezy end of the difficulty scale for me too, but pleasant enough while it lasted. 14 downs are a big part of my motoring obsession so it’s today’s clear favourite.

  8. I admit to having a minor panic when I first looked at this, because I just couldn’t get started. Once in it was pretty typical Saturday fayre, none the worse for that, because this is the way I like my Saturdays! 1a was a word I’d forgotten and 10a was my favourite – a nicely constructed clue. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the blog.

  9. Easiest puzzle for me for some time. Had to check on here to confirm that my answer to 5a was correct.

    1. Exactly as I found it – thinking of the wrong crumbs…Liked 17d – the Italian Isle is not usually that one. Slow to start but came in rapidly then.
      Thanks to BD for the 5a “Doh” moment & the setter.

  10. I really liked this one – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I agree that there were quite a few anagrams – that’s fine with me.
    For once the two hidden answers didn’t cause much trouble.
    My main problem was sorting out 26a. I thought it was a straight anagram but it became obvious that it wasn’t – got there eventually.
    I deliberately left the football clue until last!
    I liked 5 and 8a. My favourite was 16a because of the mental picture of a nutcase opening his door stark naked!
    With thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.
    We have a houseful so stuff to do now but I’m looking forward to having a go at Hieroglyph’s alphabet crossword later.

    1. Pretty much agree with all your comments, except that I would only give 1* for difficulty and my favourite would be either 10 or 13a. (don’t often do the Sat. one, but pinched the page from a friend’s paper!). On to the NTSPP next – got to keep busy whilst I wait in hope for a phone call from Paris!!!

      Couple of questions:-
      1. What’s the significance of the ‘stars and votes’ that always appear below the reviews (yes, BD, I looked in FAQ but didn’t find it!).
      2. Friend from whom I pinched the crossword asks whether anyone knows of a blog that covers the ‘killer uncaged’ Sudoku which appears in the Sunday Telegraph.

      Speak to you later http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_exclaim.gif

      1. I didn’t add it to the FAQ as it is not “frequently asked”. At the top of a high percentage of reviews you will find “you can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post”. It’s meant to be a bit of fun, nothing serious, although Giovanni doesn’t seem to have realised that yet!

        1. Thanks BD. It was Ray T’s comment that prompted me to ask – didn’t want him to think his efforts were unappreciated!

      2. If you need to keep busy you’d better get yourself down here as fast as possible! Chaos reigning! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif Only joking – it’s all good fun.
        Hope that you get your phone call from Paris soon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

        1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
          That’s it – the ‘phone call came through! Candy has started to collect a Christmas tree bauble from everywhere they visit and Mathew gave her a box with a ‘Paris’ one in it for her birthday. Inscribed on the back of the bauble was ‘marry me’. As she opened it, he got down on one knee (yes, he really did!) and offered her a ring.
          Off to cry now – and then open a bottle!
          Hope Hanni looks in later, despite being embroiled in her own daughter’s birthday celebrations.

          1. Oh Jane! I’ve just quickly looked in hoping to hear news. That’s is quite simply beautiful and it honestly made me slightly tearful, but in a good way. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif We’ll raise a toast to them here. And to the fabulous mother of the bride. Right quick tidy up here, drink, comment on crossword and check back in later.

          2. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif brilliant and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to all concerned.
            Everyone here has now gone to bed leaving us (me and husband) to finish clearing up but, like Hanni, I had to pop in to check what was happening.
            Sleep well . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

      3. You might try a Google search for a Sudoku solver. I found one once that solved a caged killer. Sounds funny that http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      4. I’m mystified, how do you blog a sudoku? crosswords are strange enough, i.e. 15a was great, not sure about 6d. So in a sudoku, what can you say? “What a beautiful “3” in row 6 – though the 7 in column 1 had me foxed”. I already find it difficult to understand the value of publishing sudoku solutions – you’re not likely to say “ah, that’s where I went wrong!” – is there really such a thing as a sudoku blog?

        1. Me too – but apparently she did once find a comment online from someone who was attempting to show how he had set about solving the grid! Think I’ll stick to crosswords! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  11. I fear I am more of George’s opinion. I could do it ok but couldn’t always match the answer with the clue very well. I found BD’s hints helped me with this so that’s to him and the setter

  12. I enjoyed it – not too difficult, the only one I got a bit stuck on was 5a and this was because I was trying to make the word mean ‘crumbs’ rather than ‘char’ – once I got this it all quickly fell into place.

    I was also trying to watch the Newcastle v Liverpool game at the same time so you can see how dire the game was for me to finish so quickly – back to the game, I hope it improves!

  13. Daunting at first pass but then became almost a write in – bizarre. Thanks to the setter and BD for the review. My better half won’t be pleased with the Liverpool match. Looks like I’ll be cooking dinner.

  14. A nice gentle start to my Saturday – a simple enough solve without any ‘splitters’. Thanks to the setter :-)

  15. Well, I enjoyed this, though not too arduous, the answers were amusing. I did need BD’S hints to know the why of 5a. Clever me, I did remember the word for wife in 18a. Thanks to the setter, fave was 26a, and to BD for the review.

    Off subject: My old PanAm buddies remind me that next year will be the 80th anniversary of the China Clipper’s pioneering flight across the Pacific. What a joy it was to work for them for 30+ years, all fun. When I started they were flying stratocruisers and superconnies across the Atlantic, and DC4s and DC6Bs to the islands. We’ve come a long way Baby!

  16. Very nice except for 7d, what on earth was that all about! Hindu poet indeed, pleeeeease! I have an answer that Google tells me was a Buddhist and I can see that word included in the wordplay but no idea if it’s right. As ever there is no hint for the one you need. Sorry if that sounds churlish but that often seems to be the case.
    Best clue for me was 13a which it found clever.
    Sorry but I find it hard to thank any setter that requires the solver to have a knowledge of Hindu poets!

    1. It’s in the BRB as a sage or poet. I didn’t bother to provide a hint as it was clued as a rather easy-to-find hidden word – what more do you want?

  17. Well, we managed to finish but needed quite a lot of assistance and didn’t find it the breeze that most others found it. Never mind, it’s now on to the general knowledge crossword. Thank you BD and the setter.

  18. I had the wrong letter at end of 25a! So couldn’t see it. Doh! Thanks for putting me out of my agony.

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A quiet gentle, but very enjoyable puzzle. Favourite was 10a, last in was 28a. Was 1*/3* for me. Just back from the Goonerium with brilliant sunshine. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  20. Rather easy at the beginning , but I accepted some hints towards the end , 10a in particular. For 17d , it would seem I have been mispronouncing and misspelling that island all my life , so it took longer to solve than it should have. Thanks setter and BD.

  21. Lovely Saturday toddle through the crossword. Initial panic eased as I worked up, once I had got a couple of anagrams everything else dropped into place. Thank you BD and setter. Off to do GK crossword then back to writing quiz night questions for friend’s fund raising evening.

    1. Good luck Hilary and I hope the fundraiser goes well. :-) Occasionally the other half and I have covered for our friend who sets a weekly quiz we attend. If you have any tips please let me know. I dread it as nine years after we first did it, there is still an ongoing argument about the collective noun for locusts! I’m not joking. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  22. Well, I’m still stuck on 10 and 11a! The one thing that stands out after reading the comments is how different each individual’s brain works. What’s easy to one is difficult to another and vice versa.

    1. BD gave a hint for 10a.

      11a The definition is covered walk. Simply put the abbreviation for Right into a type of vessel.

  23. Pretty gentle but reasonably enjoyable: say 1*/3*. No particular favourite, but thanks to the setter, and to Big Dave for the hints.

  24. Not quite a write in but almost. I needed confirmation for the parsing of 5a and 18a was a complete ‘bung it in and hope’. As I like anagrams this made for a lovely crossword. Favourite was 10a.
    Thank you to the setter and to BD for blogging.
    I’m sure that this has been asked before but has anyone won one of the prize crosswords? I’ve been doing the S.Times cryptic for years and and I’m still waiting on my pen!

    1. I never even enter the DT prize crosswords but I did win an MPP a couple of years ago. I’m really not competitive at all.

      1. Well it’s good to know that somebody wins something, although I have confess I had to Google MPP. Enjoy your Sunday Kath. :-) We’re going in invade my mums in a couple of weeks.

    2. I enter very rarely but I won consolation prize on DT Saturday two or three years ago. It was a shock as I was reading Court and Social before the prize arrived, and while glancing my eye over Legal Appointments – it strayed on to my name.
      Prior to that it was many years ago, I would have been in my early 20d, when I won a consolation on the Observer prized crossword. I think I said on here when I got my consolation prize a friend in Cornwall won the Mont Blanc plen here on here when it was the first prize and has won several consolations, to the extent that he started entering in another name!

  25. I occasionally have a go at the Scotsman’s Cryptic Crossword. I’ve completed today’s (Saturday) but please, can anyone explain to me why is the answer to the clue ‘Let one park with memento’ be RELIC? Its a memento and I ‘get’ the I – but what is RELC all about? Sorry to need to bring an alien clue into the Telegraph blog, but the Scotsman has no such amenity and it’s driving me potty.

    1. Nice one, weekendwanda – thank you so very much. I hadn’t seen that at all. Ah, now I can relax. :-)

      1. I’m not at all sure,
        a) L is not a supported abbreviation for Let
        b) where is the inclusion indicator to put LI inside REC? – “with” comes after the fodder.

        Which were the checking letters?

        1. Apologies for late reply – Have been away attending a family funeral on the East Coast. The checking letters were R-L-C. I have re-read the clue and can see that it is as how I typed it in my original query, so I can only assume that as Gazza has suggested, it ought to have been ‘LEFT’ and that maybe the ‘Scotsman’ carried a typo?

  26. Just read the whole blog. Seemed an interesting puzzle. Bank holiday in France this Saturday. Everybody pays a visit to their departed loved ones. Lovely chrysanthemum on all the graves. No paper though but I am sure BD will spot my comment and promptly email me the grid. Thanks in advance.

    1. It’s very easy once you separate wordplay from definition!

      13a Each had modified energy splitter (8)
      An anagram (modified) of EACH HAD followed by E(nergy)

  27. Thanks to the setter for allowing me to spend a non too stressful weekend with a gentle puzzle. Being a prize crossword I shall remain silent in case my tongue slips again. Thanks you to BD for sending me all these great mind games.

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